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Omnes una manet nox

Vol9

Volume information
Release Date January 12, 2018
ISBN ISBN 978-4-047348-77-6
Number of Pages 440
Volume Navigation
Previous Volume In omnia paratus
Next Volume Viribus Unitis
Omnes una manet nox is the 9th volume of of the Youjo Senki light novel.

Short Summary Edit

Another day for Tanya, a day for a big crisis that is happening inside her own beloved nation.

What kind of new disaster is currently held in their place?

The Entente Alliances starts their move to commence a counter attack. Will they succeed?

Full Summary Edit

Chapter I: Erosion Edit

Spoiler
On a train to Imperial capital, Tanya is shocked by the difference in the knowledge about the situation of war between the soldiers on the Eastern Front and the subjects on the homefront. Once Tanya finds the newspaper boasting the results of success and saying that soldiers on the frontlines are well fed, she asks a soldier on duty to whether offer her subordinates hot foods or give her the newspapers on the train from every newspaper office. Unsurprisingly, she receives the latter. Reading most newspapers Tanya received, she sighs and deeply feels that it is better to let the subjects on the homefront know the truth of war situation.

When Tanya arrives in the Berun train station, she meets Colonel von Lergen, informed about the delay of trucks from General Staff because of the insufficiency of vehicles. The members of Lergen Kampfgruppe can enjoy a short vacation in Berun, but before that, Tanya shall get in a car ahead to General Staff Office with Lergen and Visha to report their arrival. Lergen sends Visha away for borrowing a car from the National Railways for a while and tells her of 3 information.

  1. General Staff have fierce dispute with Supreme High Command Council about the supposed major operation on the Eastern Front. Supreme High Command Council believe the Imperial Army shall set the withdraw as the first phase of a major counterattack like Operation Revolving Door, but General Staff explain that Eastern Front is so much wide that all defense fortifications, concentrated troops, and the advantage of terrain lack, which are necessary for elastic defense. Moreover, if they mistake the direction of Federation major offensive, the Eastern Army Group is done.
  2. The extreme aggravation of Western Air Campaign. On the west, the Imperial Air Forces have shifted from offensive to defense and sent more aircraft to the east. Now the Low Lands Industrial Region is the routine destination of Commonwealth bombers, and even Western Industrial Region is suffering from the harassment of Commonwealth heavy bombers.
  3. With the trembling tone, Lergen informs Tanya that she might have to bomb the Supreme High Command Office because of “some mishaps during an exercise”. Not only that, Tanya shall also secure the survival of the politicians. General Staff hope that it can awake the politicians from the daydream and comfort zone of homefront. Tanya is utterly stunned, strongly criticizing its effect and risks. Luckily, Lergen relieves her that it is not an upcoming mission yet. Finally, they get in the car driven by Visha and ahead to General Staff Office.

Lt. General von Rudersdorf is thinking about the dispute with Supreme High Command Council. The politicians and the subjects of the Empire have been possessed by the dead from the Great War. In order to pay all the losses from the Great War, they let the chance to end the war slip out their hands and invested more national power into the bottomless marsh of Eastern Front. Once getting more exhausted by the endless political dispute, he starts analyzing the possibility to make a surgical strike to the problem. Lergen Kampfgrppe stationed in Berun recently is a good chess piece, but that’s not enough with a single kampfgruppe. Rudersdorf trusts Zettour that he can hold up the Eastern Front to buy time for their homeland, and with that he may concentrate more units, such as Southern Continent Expeditionary Corps, into Berun for his reserve plan. Thinking here, he rouses from the delusion and welcomes Tanya.

Tanya notices that Rudersdorf looks more emaciated than before. After some chitchat, Tanya asks Rudersdorf about the raid of Imperial capital. He shows his confusion and says it must be a joke. Next, Tanya inquires about the next step after the failure of Operation Andromeda. In her opinion, it’s time to reduce the length of frontlines to free up more troops and strengthen the military forces of Autonomous Council. Tanya wanna further extend her analysis, but Rudersdorf interrupts her and asks her to whether say her conclusion or leave now. Finally, she asks him about the true strategic goal of the Empire, which she never hears from anywhere. His answer is short but terrifying. Except of the more victory, Supreme High Command Council don’t have a clear and definite goal. They don’t even define how much the reward of victory they need to meet their next plan. In other words, the Imperial government have abandoned their duty to build up the national strategy. With the draining national power, General Staff can only secure the relative stable situation on every front and try to persuade the government into the more realistic peace deal.

The talk is gonna end. Rudersdorf tells her the reassignment of her subordinates for reorganization. The armored company of Lergen Kampfgruppe will be stationed in the outskirts of Berun to reorganize and outfit, the self-propelled guns will get repaired, the reinforced infantry battalion and the members of self-propelled artillery battalion will be stationed in an ex-Republic military port alongside the Inner Sea, and 203rd Mage Battalion will be stationed in Berun waiting for next mission.

Once she leaves Rudersdorf’s office, she gets caught by Lergen and accompanies him walking around General Staff Office for a while. They have some short discussions about the public opinion of the Empire.

Chapter II: Home Front Edit

Spoiler
The Interceptor Controller of Western Army Group is the officer in charge of air defense of Western Front. In the beginning, this had been the duty of Rhine Control, but the breakout of massive trench warfare where both sides’ foremost frontline got extremely close to each other rose the necessity of swift air support and intercepting. This finally led to the formation of interceptor controller. As the end of Western Front and the coming of Western Air Campaign, the interceptor controllers were reassigned to the air defense of ex-Republic territory, and Western Air Control, the ex-Rhine Control, the guide and support for Imperial invading air fleet. Originally, once the peace of the west returned, they could have given back the duty to Western Air Control. Now, it has been the fond remembrance for them. Following the extreme aggravation of Western Air Campaign, Western Air Control have united the interceptor controllers and shifted their guide mission from offensive to interception. At the night in June 30, 1927, Western Air Control detect the routine flight of Commonwealth heavy bombers divided into 3 groups and towards Low Lands Industrial Region, beginning their daily work of interception guide.


For the pilots of Commonwealth bombers, it is not a good day, either. The average lifetime for Commonwealth bombers is 50 to 60 flying hours because of the strong air defense over Low Lands Industrial Region. The Commonwealth pilots even call it “the Airlane towards Hell” which drops thousands of both aerial bombs and tommies. Tonight, it seems the absence of cloud and the misjudgement of Commonwealth weather forecasters are about to lead the unfortunate men to their doom. Though they can see the target through cloudless sky, when they look long into an abyss, the abyss looks into them. The Imperial searchlights catch some of their bombers, and then thousands of both 20 mm machine gun bullets from Imperial night fighters and shells from anti-aircraft guns lighten the night of Low Lands. Breaking through the barrages of enemy fire, the remaining Commonwealth bombers release all their aerial bombs and flee from the sky over Low Lands with no turning back. With the chasing Imperial night fighters on the rear, their homeland is still far away.

Back to the Western Air Control Command, the officers are calculating the damage from the night raid of Commonwealth last night. Although an enemy bomber group didn’t get baited by the anti-aircraft gun positions, their air divisions caught them and beat them back. Dealing with the accustomed reconstruction affairs, some generals are discussing about the aggravation of Imperial air forces. They had sent many fighter pilots and aerial mages to Eastern Front. Before the Great War, the passing line of well-trained Imperial pilots was 600 flying hours, but now they even have to deploy the young pilots who have less than 100 flying hours. Apparently, their resources are slowly running out. Everyone in Western Air Control Command has a bad feeling about the predictable future of the Empire.

General Staff are discussing about the suitable candidates to support Western Command. Before the Great War, since they don’t need many field officers in decisive battles based on their national defense plan, they thoroughly invested their resources into the elite staff officers. Even in the bloody Rhine trenches, they could still send some field officers with a promising future to war colleges due to the narrow Rhine Battlefield. In the case of Eastern Front, a fluid and wide defense line, they can never have enough field officers. Colonel von Lergen recommends Rosenberg, a baron, ex-legislator, and Dacia military government official. He has good relationships with Imperial family and is excellent in dealing with disputes between government and citizens. Rudersdorf rejects it because his role is too important in Dacia oil supply to get replaced. Then Lergen commends Lt. Colonel Schultz, his mate of the same graduating class. He stays on the rear for a long recuperation period but gains many experiences in logistic and political affairs. However, Rudersdorf informs him that Schultz has been chosen to be an adviser in Autonomous Council by Zettour who is working on founding the army of Autonomous Council recently. Next, Lt. Colonel von Ugar is judged to lack power of discourse, and even himself(Lergen) is a workhorse of General Staff that would better stay in General Staff. Eventually, they choose Lt. General von Romel, an excellent field general who has many experiences in fighting with Commonwealth and Republican Army. To begin with, he will stay in General Staff for gaining experience in military governing affairs first.

On Eastern Front, Zettour attends the conference of Eastern Army Group Command. 31st Division is under the attack of multinational coalition forces. Their offensive keeps pressuring Hofen Salient and forces Imperial Army to choose keeping it or leaving. Although Eastern Army Group have massive troops on paper, their losses are huge, too. Right now, they only have an armored division, a mechanized division, an aerial mage battalion, and some half-strength infantry divisions as strategic reserves. As an inspector, Zettour points out that sending most reserves to defend a mere critical point(the salient) will lead to pointless attrition. He also suggests the staff officers to watch out for the location of multinational coalition forces. He believes they will appear in the start point of their main attack group during Federation’s next major offensive.

On the other hand, Drake is glad of the enemy’s retreat. They are orderly retaking the homeland with only few reports of engaging the Imperial Army. As his mage battalion finishes the search and destroy mission and arrives the camps, Colonel Mikel and Political Officer Liliya meet him and discuss of next operation. However, Drake finds Mikel keeping silent while Liliya who is supposed to be an interpreter explaining the mission they received and is irritated. Though she excuses her dereliction of duty by saying they have made the consensus before his arrival, Drake still stresses the importance that Mikel should join the discussion and know what’s going on. After she behaved herself, Drake listens to her and gets the point. Moskva hope them to research for mage decapitation strike and execute it during next major offensive. Their target is Eastern Army Group Command, especially the inspector Lt. General von Zettour. The Federation intelligence believe he is the person in charge of many counter-Federation movements.

After reading the reports and data he received, Drake realizes Zettour has many experiences in planning decapitation strike and is moving around frequently. As studying more reports about him, Drake gets more worried about how to deal with that cunning enemy. It even reminds Drake of the beginning of Operation Revolving Door. From their point of view, the collapse of Rhine Army Group Command was so sudden that they almost got no information of how Imperial Army executed their operation. At this moment, 1st lieutenant Sue enters his office and reports her mission result. Thank to the absence of the Devil of Rhine, her mentality has remained stable for a long time. Drake decides to ask the war correspondents who have the experience on Rhine Front at dinner time.

When Drake has his great dinner on Eastern Front, Tanya is having dinner with Ugar in Zolka Café. Tanya was stunned when she saw the table was filled with every kinds of food substitutes. Ugar is satisfied with her reaction and says he usually has his meal times in General Staff's dining room 1 because he gradually feels nothing different to eat outside. Before the Great War, the Empire exported many agriculture products. Because of the large-scale replanting to potatoes and the insufficiency of livestock, the agriculture of the Empire is extremely declining. Tanya reliefs Ugar that the life on homefront is still better than the one on frontline, but it somehow offends him. He suggests Tanya shall think more from human nature, which deeply confuses Tanya. Ugar says he also suggested Rudersdorf and Zettour see how the subjects of the Empire live now. He is trusted by General Staff as a railway expert who is also excellent in negotiating with citizens. He has lived too long with citizens and lost the hardhearted and calculating mindset trained from war college period. In his opinion, Tanya is resolute and rational towards everything. However, she won’t realize the life on homefront and then the true crisis of their homeland with that mindset. Their last topic is about the negotiation mediated by Kingdom of Ildoa. It seems Supreme High Command is dissatisfied with the treat the Kingdom offers and rejects it. Before she leaves, he invites Tanya to walk around with Rudersdorf in Berun tomorrow.

Next day, Tanya and Rudersdorf attend the routine memorial service for the war dead nearby Berun train station. They both dressed in black mourning cloth and had to pretend as the relatives of the war dead so that people would give them a way to take a close look. Tanya notices the guards carrying the caskets look strenuous to do their job. Next, she finds they are probably consisted by the wounded soldiers and the youngsters on the rear. But all of them look tired and undernourished. Patients and youngsters are carrying the dead. In Tanya’s opinion, this scene reveals the actual state and the future of the Empire. Rudersdorf tells her to look around. Firstly, Tanya sees the relatives and the friends of the dead trying hard to suppress their grief. But next, the others seem have gotten used to the mourning service and gotten unconcerned about it. It was only this moment that Tanya realized something she had never noticed before because of the onerous military affairs. In Berun, and probably in the entire homeland, the normal life of the subjects has twisted into the abnormal one, and they have gotten used to it. Now, even the growing casualties can’t mean anything more than a number to them.

Leaving the memorial service, Tanya tries to relief Rudersdorf by saying that scene at least means they can face the abnormal life with calm and it is good to their negotiation with the Kingdom, too. Unexpectedly, she is scolded severely instead. Rudersdorf rebukes her for understanding nothing of the heart. He says she is a typical character who can use psychological tactics but can’t understand the heart, which only confuses Tanya more. At the moment, he recalls Tanya’s life and gets very confused as well. After a short while, he apologizes for forgetting the military made up the majority of her life. He decides to take some military experiences for example. If people can shout and argue, it means they still have energy to struggle. But if they are burned out and silent, it will be dangerous. The subjects are like the desperate soldiers who are sitting in trench and waiting for the whistling sound for charge. They are exhausted, stop thinking, and will collapse if things go out of their expectation. For short, if the Empire can’t gain the reward equal to the losses, they don’t dare to think how will the subjects respond, but things will only get worse if they keep going that way. Although Tanya believes the citizens of the country losing in total war like Japan and Germany in WWII will accept the fact of defeated, Rudersdorf opposes that those countries most have completely drained off their national power. They won’t let it happen, so they will have to deal with another situation. They must do everything to secure the calm and peaceful post-war life of the Empire. Tanya praises peace to Rudersdorf and surprises him. Tanya says she loves peace because she is a coward, which is laughed at by Rudersdorf that can be a good topic of tale. Tanya then says she shall enjoy the comfort life with royalty income if General Staff really publish that tale, which makes him burst out laughing. Finally, Rudersdorf promises her if the Empire can get the peaceful future they want, he will write a picture book about a hero awarded Silver Wings Assault Badge is actually a peace-loving coward, and she will own the whole royalty income.

After saying goodbye to him, Tanya is walking on the street of Berun and thinking of whether to stay and try to save the dying Empire or flee from it.

Chapter III: Necessity is the mother of invention Edit

Spoiler
Tanya is wakened up at midnight by Visha for appearing in General Staff Office immediately. Sitting in the speeding car driven by Visha through the streets of Berun under blackout, Tanya braces herself up and finally arrives General Staff Office. Once she enters Rudersdorf’s office, she finds him having a long face and gets nervous. Kingdom of Ildoa told the Empire that they only accept the disarmed Imperial Army to enter their territories. Southern Continent Expeditionary Corps was once supposed to retreat into the allied Ildoa colony and leave the continent, but now they have to return via Inner Sea lane where the Commonwealth Navy are rampant around. General Staff have drawn up Operation Barbarian which means to secure the retreating troops’ safety in Inner Sea.

At the same time in Londinium, Whitehall, the higher-ups of Commonwealth are discussing the upturn of Southern Continent Campaign. They receives the information that the enemy troops have ceased all offensive movement. Although the enemy beat back their reconnaissance-in-force and built the tough defense, the intelligence detected that they have been secretly sending their heavy armaments and tanks back to their mainland. Now they conclude that the enemies are planning to retreat. At this rate, they can nail them by their navy. Thanks to the effort of Commonwealth foreign affairs ministry, Kingdom of Ildoa have guaranteed they would strictly observe their neutrality. They decide to send several fleets containing battlecruisers and aircraft carriers to blockade Inner Sea. Besides, due to the pressure from the Federation, they will execute a limited amphibious operation. Unlike the operation last time that assaulting several Imperial ports by carrier strike groups, this time they will land 8 assault companies to attack about 2 or 3 ex-Republic ports near Ildoa border. They expect to gain the experience of amphibious operation, decrease the strength of Imperial submarine, and hold a stress testing to the Kingdom.

In Berun, Tanya is explaining the details of Operation Barbarian to her mage battalion. They will protect Romel’s troops as a “travel agency” and expel those who urge him not to leave Southern Continent. Sadly, although the Empire have magnificent history of maritime traffic in Inner Sea, it is not famous for military transport but commerce. Now, they shall fight against the enemy warships over the sea that they are both not quite familiar with. Their major goal is to secure the safety of Inner Sea lane and protect the transport ships carrying the retreating troops. Tanya alerts her mages to adapt the maritime environment and learn how to fight against warships.

Grantz questions Tanya about the strength of Imperial fleet taking part in Operation Barbarian. The answer is depressing. In her opinion, the surface warships of Imperial Southern Fleet are totally slackers. Except of the well-equipped submarines, the Imperial Southern Fleet only have some old fashioned armored cruisers, ex-Republican war ships, pseudo heavy cruisers with 203 mm main guns, and few destroyers. Since in the past, the Empire and Kingdom of Ildoa reached the consensus that the former took charge of the north and the latter, the south, the Empire made light of Southern Fleet. Although they could invest more resources in the other projects, the Southern Fleet can’t be counted as available units now. Luckily, General Staff have some ideas to help them complete the mission. As Lergen enters the room and shows his appreciation to Tanya, she has a bad feeling about something upcoming. Dr. Schugel bursts into the room and says he has prepared the key she needs to resolve the trouble.

They were led to a storehouse by Schugel. Here they find a weird and huge torpedo equipped with a cockpit. He pours out words about how religious this weapon is and says it is the fruit of their union which Tanya sowed and he got impregnated. Tanya feels very confused and asks what is he talking about. He only promises her that this torpedo won’t have any technical problem like the ones made by the navy. Lergen says it had been tested in the army experimental field, which makes Tanya nervous about the aggravation of interservice rivalry.

When it comes to V-2 “general-purpose underwater acceleration apparatus”, we must know how was it born. Back in the past, when Tanya was working in the Strategic Research Office, she once attended a military research meeting as a veteran field officer. It was to find an efficient way to fight against the Commonwealth and remaining Republic Navies. In the meeting, Tanya was fed up with the attending officers endless talking about big ships with big guns and argued why wouldn’t they just destroy the warships with anti-ship attack aircraft or torpedoes. It was at this moment she knew the Imperial air forces didn’t have any torpedo bomber. Although they did sink some enemy warships, those were the results of dive bombing against light warships such as destroyers and transport ships. The Imperial air forces focus most on air superiority and battlefield support, needing about 1 or 2 years to research aerial anti-ship warfare and even more time to get practical.

About the torpedo attack from submarine, the hit rate were also limited by present technology affecting the quality and few skilled sailors affecting the quantity. Hence, Tanya suggested set a mage cockpit on torpedo to increase the hit rate which had less to do with technology improvement and available human resources. She took the idea of Italian MAIALE which could secure the survival of its driver. If the drivers are well-trained marine mages, they could even keep underwater and leave. The active reconnaissance and oxygen supply formulas the driver needed were also not different to what mages used at high altitude. If they set battery in warhead and decrease explosive charge, the problem of speed and maneuver could somehow be resolved. Finally, this project of new torpedo was transferred to the Imperial Technical Arsenal. Now, it gets back and bites her.

The scenery changes to Imperial Inner Sea Navy. Recently, the lethal defect of torpedo fuse had been improved. Normally, they used the torpedoes in hunting the enemy transport ships, but today their submarines are equipped with some weird-looking fixed apparatuses. July 12, 1927, the Inner Sea submarine units were ordered to carry this cargo even if it would lower the speed. For the crews from the other warships, they would only say: “What the heck is this?” to each other, but for the ones knowing what it exactly was and carrying it, they only wanted to scream: “They are insane!”. Strictly speaking, even the mages carrying out the mission and the engineers from the Technical Arsenal had the same feeling with them. Only the inventor was full of confidence, instead.

The Imperial submarine units take part in Operation Barbarian. Tanya and some of her subordinates are on the desks of the submarines sailing on surface. Feeling the sea breeze on her face, Tanya starts to daydream about a Commonwealth aircraft rakes the port with machine gunfire and blows up the engineer. She also complains about how ridiculous General Staff asked them to search and destroy the enemy fleet with a mere submarine fleet in her mind. Later, she finds that the military education of the Empire focuses on land and makes utterly light of navy. She thinks that probably none in General Staff has ever gotten a systematized naval education.

Soon, they receive enemy contact report from the reconnaissance aircraft of 16th Air Fleet. She gets in the submarine and discusses with the captain, Lieutenant Commander Bachert. From the coded telegram, they receive the location and other info of a Commonwealth fleet comprising a battleship or battlecruiser, 2 heavy cruisers, and 4 light cruisers or destroyers. Tanya notices the absence of Commonwealth aircraft carrier. Anyway, the submarine fleet will go towards the location they choose for ambush.

Chapter IV: Love from underwater Edit

Spoiler
July 15, 1927. At dusk, after chasing the Commonwealth fleet for a while, they finally detect the targets and submerge. When the submarines and mages are preparing for the ambush, a consort detects a Commonwealth aircraft carrier in the enemy fleet. They decide to modify their plan. The 3 approaching submarines will launch 12 V-2s to the enemy fleet. 6 V-2s are supposed to attack the battleship, 4 V-2s, the aircraft carrier, and 2 V-2s, the other cruisers. After all V-2s hit the targets, the mages are supposed to jump out of the water and try to induce the explosions of the torpedoes and the depth charges on the remaining cruisers and destroyers. Then they shall leave the battlefield and get picked up by the waiting submarines.

13 hours and 25 minutes after the Operation Agreement got executed, the 2nd Squadron of Commonwealth Home Fleet were ambushed in Dakar. The flagship Hood, the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, and the cruiser Iliadelar unexpectedly explode and start sinking. The remaining warships disperse and detect several sound sources of submarine propellers. They aim the submarines with hedgehogs, but the enemy mages jump out of the water and strike them. The hedgehogs, torpedoes, and depth charges are induced and sink the warships. Bermuda, Louis, and Victory are sunk. The last one Vinson had thrown away the explosives, but most of her facilities on deck are blown or burned. The mages start shooting her broadsides and making holes in her. Thankfully, the Commonwealth mage brigade arrive and drive out the enemy mages. Tanya has her mages not to stay any longer, leaving the battlefield as the Commonwealth mages are rescuing the seamen overboard.

At night, her mages arrive the supposed assembly area and send the codes by flashing 3 times. Soon, a submarine surfaces and flashes the signal lamp. Weiss notices it is not among the ones carrying out the mission with them at dusk. The submarine U-091 picks them up and sails in surface. Tanya is confused about not submerging for stealth, but she is immediately asked to meet with the captain Otto von Herm. Before leaving, she orders her mages to help the submarine get on the alert. Tanya and Herm have a meeting in his office. After having a short chat, he gives an envelope and some documents to Tanya. She signs on the documents and then opens the envelope. It is an order from General Staff for them to attend a sightseeing in Ildoa. The Kingdom Navy will welcome them and escort their submarine. After they finish the diplomatic affairs, her mages will return to the Empire by the train of the Kingdom. Tanya leaves his office and talks with Weiss about the order they receive and General Staff’s purpose. She alerts Weiss to the danger of aggressive mindset. The beginning of the Great War is just the best example. At all events, they shall still keep civilized and seek acceptable peace with the other countries. Now they shall think about where to get their formal clothes and how to show as the models of their homeland to their neighbors.

Chapter V: Sightseeing Edit

Spoiler
Imperial Submarine U-91 is sailing in the surface of Inner Sea. As the practitioners of innocent passage, the Imperial seamen raise an Imperial flag and enter the Kingdom’s territorial waters. Kingdom Navy had received their plain code and deployed a destroyer squadron to escort U-91. After exchanging the gun salutes to each other, they sail towards the Kingdom’s military port while the Kingdom squadron organize themselves into a circular cruising formation to protect U-91. Tanya orders her mages to wear full dress uniform and line on the desk. She also appreciates the scenery and observes the Kingdom’s warships. She notices the Kingdom destroyers' guns are a bit partial towards inner side and feels uncomfortable. When the Kingdom fighters fly across their heads, Tanya and the others immediately recognize them as the Commonwealth-made aircraft and almost decide to engage them. Nevertheless, they still peacefully reach the Kingdom’s military port.

The Imperial mages and the submarine crew are welcomed by Kingdom’s military band and even the kids holding a bouquet. Tanya surprisingly finds that it’s her first time that not leaving the submarine in a concealed pen for U-boats. She also notices the absence of the press and the ordinary people surrounding and watching them. The Kingdom’s receptionists invite them to board the train which vertically travels across the lands of Ildoa.

On the dinner car, Tanya is stunned by many things. The glass containers on the table remind her of the shaking train when traveling in the Empire. Ugar, a rail expert, may tell her the technological differences between the Kingdom’s train and the Empire’s, but for Tanya, she can only say that this train is well-maintained. The second one surprising her is the breadbasket on her table filled with the fragrant bread, which reminds her of the unpalatable bread substitutes. Although being irritated by the sweet-smelling fragrance, she still decides to wait Colonel Karaindrou who delays in arrival. She even daydreams that if Karaindrou delays on purpose, she will shoot him down immediately. He finally enters the dinner car. He apologizes to her for his delay. He just warned their local military bureaucrats so that their visitors can enjoy a free sightseeing. They only need to attend an unofficial banquet in the evening.

Tanya is delighted by his concern. However, Karaindrou starts chatting about the genial sunshine, history, lemon, and how delicious blood orange is. Those actually irritate Tanya more. He apologizes for chattering away and answers her that the Kingdom isn’t that stingy to ask the visitors to board a military train. Tanya receives the menu from Karaindrou and asks what does him recommend. She gets a quite enthusiastic answer. Although the meat are tasty, there are the fantastic seafood cuisines they can find from nowhere else. Since this train just stayed nearby the military port, Karaindrou promises that the ingredients of seafood are high-quality and freshest.

She decides to order kipper as the main course and steak tartare as the starter. She tastes the steak tartare, amazed by the proper balance between salt and pepper. The quality of meat takes the vital rule of how the steak tartare tastes. In this case, the spices perfectly bring out the sweet taste of its fine meat. Tanya also enjoys it with the Republican baguettes and sparkling mineral water. Tanya praises the chef for the wonderful cuisines and welcomes her main course, the whitefish kipper. As a Japanese in her previous life, Tanya is quite fastidious about seafood. At first glance, the kipper is well decorated, made up of a kind of perch and several unidentified ingredients. She checked if there’s any flaw in this dish and then is satisfied. Tanya believes there are rather few sauces that can season the fish nicely. However, at the moment she takes a bite, she tastes a rich flavor of fresh citrusy sour, and then the sauce with light saline, sweet tastes further enrich the flavor of whitefish. Finally the olive oil and vinegar play a brilliant concerto with each others. She expected the sauce must be intense and tangy, but this clean and rich flavor instead brings up the kipper to another level of delicacy. Tanya drinks the sparking water to wash away the remaining sauce in her mouth and takes more bites. The taste never gets weakened. It amazingly sublimes the taste of the kipper.

Tanya completely admires the cooking skills of the chef. Karaindrou is glad that their chef makes a hero awarded Silver Wings Assault Medal surrender. In his opinion, people earn exploits by their outstanding fortes whether they are holding a rifle as an soldier or holding a kitchen knife as a cook. This sounds a bit off to Tanya. She insinuates that Ildoa allies the Empire but never helps its friend from military aspect, but Karaindrou doesn’t agree. He gulps down a glass of red wine, then telling her it must be the difference between Ildoa and the Empire. Although they live in the same world, the Great War had dissimilated their senses toward many things. She is about to go. Before leaving, she requests him to deliver her words to the chef that the fish was fantastic and she honestly looks forward to next time enjoying the dishes here.

The Imperial mages were settled in 2 first-class cars of the train. After leaving the dinner car, Tanya is resting in her stateroom. She feels uneasy here. The peaceful, civilized, and wealthy living is what she yearns for throughout her life, but her homeland had lost it because of the Great War. Sitting here as a foreigner makes her nervous. Visha comes and expresses her concern for Tanya. It seems that leaving the front lines for a while gives her much time to think about her future. Tanya asks Visha to buy tea leaves, coffee beans, and sugar as the presents to their relatives and friends in the Empire.

July 18, 1927, the reinforced infantry battalion and self-propelled artillery battalion of Salamander Kampfgruppe had been stationed in a military port within Ain Defense Zone for a while. Southern Army Group is in charge of the coast defense alongside the Inner Sea. When the first time the unit commanders of the kampfgruppe Meibert and Tospan met the local coast guard, they were stunned by their tidy appearances and clean attire. Not only the equipment are outmoded, but the teenager and elders take a large part of the guards. Although they are glad to not be stationed in the proving ground at the suburb of Berun like their tank company, the “unrealistic” life at the rear is quite hard to adapt for them. They also suffer from the annoying bureaucracy. The uniform must be well-maintained, not fold their service cap into side cap, not shoot the strangers trying to invade restricted area at once, write tons of documents, etc. Ahrens and his tank company might perform maneuvers everyday, they don’t have to deal with the unnecessary and over-elaborate formalities, either. They realize working under Tanya is quite free to fulfill their jobs.

The self-propelled guns are now being repaired, so Meibert’s battalion was assigned to man the coastal guns. They want to fortify their position, but the officers of navy cavil about their ignorance to the rules. Even just fortifying their position with sandbags needs the documents about the source of soil, the confirmation of ownership, the corporation with existing defense and building plan, etc. Meibert and Tospen are reminded of Visha who is practiced in document processing. He has confidence to load shell no matter how much does it weigh, but now he feels exhausted to move the pen on his hand. Meibert is checking the classification manual to fill the blanks on the paper while Tospen is reading the engineer regulations manual.

When Meibert sees through the window for relaxing, he finds a suspicious convoy is approaching the military port. He orders his subordinate to check schedule and identify the ships before they arrive the port. Apparently, there are only few submarines supposed to enter to port. They might be the allied retreating convey from Southern Continent, but the coast guard don’t receive the codes or the other signals from them. Tospen asks his unit to go on guard and prepare for battle, leaving the office to command the infantry. Meibert phones the Port Command to alert the other units. But Lt. Colonel Paul tells him to wait until they receive the signal from the convey. This makes Captain Meibert nervous.

The convey is about to enter the port. He decides to order his unit to give the unidentified ships warning shots and hangs up. His subordinates have prepared to warn the ships by their coastal guns. Paul calls him again and sounds furious, but Meibert just tells him he will undertake the responsibility and hangs up one more time. The first warning shot perfectly gets close to the target. Paul phones him again and rages at him. At the same time, the unidentified ships fire as response. He hangs up and commands his units to fire the enemy warships. The ships start charging, which has Meibert realize they are the remodeled transport ships. The heavy armor-piercing shells they use to attack the supposed warships instead simply pierce through and cause little damage to them. Several assault boats charge from the transport ships, and a light cruiser starts bombarding their position. Meibert finds the allied units are in chaos. Tospen’s unit detects the mana signals from enemy ships. The allied mage company takes off to counterattack. Meibert commands his unit to load high explosive shells to aim the landing enemies.

The enemy warships crush the port, and many assault infantry are landing from them. The artillery cover are limited because of the facilities on the port. The warning line had been infiltrated. What's even worse, Tospen’s infantry position is under suppressive fire from another allied force, and several enemy mages disguising as infantry have infiltrated deeply and assaulted them. The concealed pen for U-boats is blown up. Paul calls Meibert and asks the kampfgruppe to retake the pen for U-boats, but he answers that the enemies have gotten on the allied units. He only has confidence to blew up everyone in that occupied pen and tells Paul to order him as he makes the decision. Hanging up the phone, Meibert asks all his subordinates to prepare for close combat.

Back to the capital of the Kingdom, the train arrives the central station of Ildoa. The central station of the Empire is huger on logistics scale, but you won’t feel the gloomy ambiance and hear any weeps and sighs here. Tanya gets off the train and breathes the bright and delighted air in the Ildoa station. They are separated from the ordinary people by the guards of honour and escorted to the station office building. After they enter an office, an Ildoan major waiting for them gives Karaindrou an envelope, has a short talk with him, and then leaves. Karaindrou informs her that the stuff inside the envelope are their visas, available identity cards, and the blank checks drawn by the General Staff of Ildoa. Tanya jokes about how extravagant her mages are, and he says that except they drink aviation gasoline as water, they won’t need to worry about it. It is at this moment she knows the Kingdom is supporting the Empire in secret with the aviation gasoline. The Kingdom is a neutral country de jure, so not allowing the Imperial troops to enter their territory makes sense. The Kingdom is also working hard to mediate the armistice and next the peace deal for the Empire. Karaindrou believes they have fulfilled the obligation as the Empire’s ally.

Tanya heckles him if they think an ally without the willing to bleed for each other can still be count. In her opinion, their behavior to replace the blood flowing out for the ally with aviation gasoline is utterly ridiculous. On the other hand, Karaindrou says the Kingdom is supporting the Empire from military aspect with a clear conscience. He tells her that he knows she is one among the 12 knights of war college and what she wrote as her graduation thesis. Tanya retorts that she never knew he not only specializes in mountain battlefields but also “has a sharp ear”. There’s no way for a normal foreign military officer to read the thesis of war college and knows so many military secrets of the Empire.

They decide to get along again. Tanya tells him that he can do a good job as a diplomat, but he says that he actually has visions of being a brilliant officer like her. Anyway, he hopes Tanya and her mages may have a wonderful trip in his homeland.

July 21, 1927, Tanya’s unit are about to board the train towards the Empire. All the officers from Imperial embassy have a farewell with them in the station. They are settled in the first-class cars of the international train, chatting about the foods, snacks, wines, and many wonderful things they found during the trip. Tanya feels a bit reluctant to leave. She wishes the Empire could retake the peace and wealth in the future. At the night, she is awakened by the shaking which she is familiar with. She feels quite upset to realize they have entered the territory of the Empire from the sudden aggravation of railroad maintenance. In the gray ambiance, she falls asleep again to get rid of the worry.

Chapter VI: At Dusk Edit

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After Tanya got back to the Empire, submitting her report to the General Staff, she was delirious about their greetings. Meeting Colonel Rerugen on her way, he seemed had an urgent news which gave her a bad feeling, but he had to talk it with her privately. He reported to her that Captain Meibert and Lt. Tospen were detained by the military police. Tanya was surprised because those two competent soldiers would not do such thing to break the rules unless they had a good reason. As expected, he had already inquired it. According to what he heard, the garrison commander at the base pressed their responsibilities for negligence against them. Using Colonel Rerugen's good offices or influence, those two was supposed to be unconstrained.

She thought that they were in fierce fighting and declared their arbitrariness to their superiors who could not take effective countermeasures just for going out and going against the enemy's attacks. After Tanya heard it out, she grieved over the fierce resentment and incompetence of the rear units. The only thing they could thank, luckily, was the submarine units who watched their brave operation. They arranged a proper countermeasures against enemies. Tanya was touched by her brave men to do the right thing. Colonel Rerugen also prepared a gift to Tanya. He told her that they could bring coffee beans as a reward for her war achievement. Tanya was greeted by everyone repeatedly around the face and lastly visited by Lt. General Rudersdorf.

They could talk about the important discussion after this hence she could continue to enjoy herself for a while. Tanya was pleased that Lieutenant Rudersdorf was not bad.

Afterwards, Tanya was confused in the meeting. Lt. General Rudersdorf told her that they had some useful volunteer divisions from the Eastern occupied area of Rus Union led by Lt. General Zettour. Tanya asked him why there were some volunteers came in and how they did convince them. He told her that they had promised to give them rights and create an independent (buffer) states for them after the war ended. Furthermore, the Supreme Governing Council wanted new territories at east. She couldn’t believe it and felt uneasy. She left the place afterwards. Before long, Lt. General Romeel spoke to her when she slammed down. He wanted to give his old friend, Tanya, a warm welcome in the officer’s club. Although the club had an underage restriction, when he showed his insignia of his general rank, they got in. Tanya felt the difference of their power and envied him totally.

They entered the private room, remained silent. Lt. General Romeel looked full of vigor while filling his glass. He started to converse at her when he opened his bottle of drink. He warned her not to judge Lt. General Rudersdorf in public. There might be some surveillants around them.

The government ordered them that the ‘Triumphant’ was waiting for his troops returning from the south. His troops were supposed to have won the big victory in the south, and they were ordered to withdraw from the battlefield in a triumphant way. He concluded that their nation (possibly government officials) thought of it necessary to keep the war in a decent way for Lt. General Romeel, which was just a gimmick and should not be issued by the Imperial government.

After a while, he told her with resentment that the army should intervene in politics tremendously. He told that the body of the soldier was created to protect the fatherland and the imperial court. If the politics was bad, it must be corrected. Tanya couldn’t have sympathy even if she placed herself in his position.

Like Rudersdorf, she tried to escape by saying that the military should not intervene in politics. Although she supposed Romeel was drunk, he kept denying it. The discussion here would be over, and she promised to visit the place where Romeel was stationed at a later update. Before they parted, Romeel revealed her that General Staff had prepared an another reserve plan. She wondered what would they talk about in next visit.

Colonel Rerugen came to report to Lt. General Rudersdorf. Supreme Governing Council said that the enemy troops missing from south will begin to militarily neutralize the Ildoa. It made the generals and others become gloom. It might be an obvious failure to lose Ildoa, an allied country, at present. They could no longer perform the post-war negotiations if their intermediary left.

On the contrary, Lt. General Rudersdorf thought if it will be done, they must strike their former ally with a surprised invasion. They would use Salamander Combat Group to do the mission. But if they do so, Tanya would end up to lead it. Her diplomat mission will be the waste to have much trouble in her courtesy visit.

Afterwards, Colonel Rerugen had been alone and wondered what should he do. As a military officer, he wanted to correct the mistake of his upper’s decisions. Tanya was a great asset in war, and for her, the military should not to intervene in the politics. However, if in a good deep reason, they must.

Right now, Tanya, Rerugen and Romeel wanted the General Staff to intervene in the government decision. They feared for where their nation would go further.

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